Jacob Furr is a Fort Worth musician who, frankly, doesn’t look like the son of a policeman. But he is. You can find more on Jacob’s music here (he’s terrific). I wanted to post this recent Facebook post (with permission, naturally) because this blog is often critical of police officers and Jacob’s celebration of his father’s retirement reminded me that cops are normal people with lives and families who do difficult and dangerous work.
By Jacob Furr
My dad has been holding The Thin Blue Line for 30 years and is retiring tomorrow. Even though he’s not on facebook, I’d like to say something publicly about him.
I’ve been hugging my dad through a bullet proof vest for 30 years. The press of handcuffs, extra ammunition clips, mace on his belt against my stomach and the sharp edges of the badge with the sleeping panther on top digging into my cheeks is a sensation I’ll never forget. I have stood beside him in silence at two police funerals and cried thinking “that could have been him”. I will never forget hearing him come home late at night after we were all in bed and then hearing him leave again before the sun had risen day after day. I’m sure there were things that happened in that time away from us that we will never hear about. Moments when he wondered if he’d get home that night.
There were funny moments as well though.
Once when my family came to visit San Francisco, we were walking through the Haight-Ashbury and everyone except Dad entered one of the ridiculous tourist hippy stores. When we came back out into that cool SF air, Dad was standing on the corner with his arms crossed in his oh-so-police-like manner, but with a smile on his face. It seems that while we were inside, he had been standing on the street corner in his shorts, “Life Is Good” t-shirt, and Ranger cap when one of the folks that live on the street walked up and just said “Hello Officer”.
I guess you just can’t turn it off. The mustache must’ve given him away.
I had college professor once say, without knowing my dad was an officer, that “all cops are just violent pigs serving the interests of the rich.” That’s funny. I thought they were just like my dad. Working at midnight on Christmas. Standing on the side of a freeway after a fatal car wreck. Finding the jerk who stole your credit card information.
He has been serving all of Fort Worth and its citizens, no matter how rich or poor, for 30 years and it will all quietly end tomorrow. No parade. No mention from city hall. No articles in the Star Telegram. Just another Cop who has served his time hangs up the gun belt that used to sit beside the dinner table one last time.
The reality is that a good, honest man who has worked hard to raise a family on a tiny income will quietly exit the publics’ consciousness and service and put his blue uniform in the closet and his badge in a drawer. He will take a step back from the line between order and chaos and rejoin the citizen population. And nobody will really notice. Because he’s been really good at his job. Hopefully folks wont feel the need to complain to him about the ticket they got last week anymore. Hopefully he’ll learn how to cross his arms without looking like he’s running surveillance for a drug bust. I just hope he feels thanked for risking his life to keep us safe for 30 years.
I, for one, am grateful.
Now go learn how to race rally cars or something fun.